Billionaire hedge fund baron George Soros has given away the bulk of his wealth, some $18 billion to his charity foundation named Open Society Foundations. The donated wealth covers 80 percent of the affluent donor’s total net worth.
Soros founded Open Society Foundations in 1987 to promote democracy and human rights. The foundation works in more than 100 countries on areas such as refugee relief, public health, and human rights.
The Hungary born baron announced the bulk transfer of wealth in October 2017. The hefty corpus makes Open Society the second-biggest charity organization in the United States next to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Ranked as the 29th wealthiest person in the world the net worth of Soros was $23 billion before the wealth transfer to his charity.
Of late, Soros has expanded his organization’s focus to the United States with investments in programs that fight for the rights of gays and lesbians and to reduce police excesses on them.
Intensely Watched Donor
The benevolence of Soros as a leading donor patronizing progressive causes in the United States and for democracy across the world has made him a profoundly watched donor.
Soros became an international phenomenon when he made a fortune of $1 billion after short selling the British pound in 1992. The exemplary genius of Soros in taking the best investment decision after tracking the market pulse made him a doyen in financial markets with a superman image in public mind.
Conspiracy Theories Against Philanthropists
However, massive fund infusion to his philanthropy has reinforced the fears of his antagonists. Soros has been the most prominent financier of Democrats since the 2000s and a target of conservatives. They also see Soros hand in the NFL protest organized by Colin Kaepernick and the Women’s March.
The hedge fund billionaire made big news when he declared his intent to spend his entire fortune to stop President George W. Bush from winning a second term and paid a record $27 million during the campaign.
Soros had many reasons including ideological in backing Democrats and made him the eyesore of conservatives.
Philanthropists find the US a hospitable political system to thrive, but conspiracy theories will haunt them irrespective of political affiliations.
All political narratives harbor a suspicion of concentrated power. Progressives are worried that wealthy barons are seeking to dominate the federal government while Conservatives are wary of charity networks, think tanks, and private foundations for influence on public opinion.
Philosophical Influences on Soros
Soros in a paper Capitalist Threat To Open Society has explained his ideological moorings behind the funding programs.
In his words, unchecked capitalism and the influx of market values are corroding the fabric of democratic societies.
The main threat to open society is coming from capitalism and not from any communist oligarchy, according to Soros.
The “open society” concept of Henri Bergson, later popularized by philosopher and thinker Karl Popper had a decisive influence on Soros.
Soros studied Popper and found the answer to his quest for ultimate truth. He noticed that despite humans living in the same universe their perceptions have the power to impact the events if they participate in them.
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